Canberra the centrepiece for mass flypast to mark the centenary of the RAAF

Michael Weaver 31 March 2021 30
Three P-8A Poseidon aircraft

Three P-8A Poseidon aircraft flying in formation with an AP-3C Orion in preparation for the Air Force centenary flypast in Canberra on 31 March. Photo: FLTLT Andrew Gill, Department of Defence.

More than 60 historic and current aircraft will mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force this Wednesday (31 March) with a wave of flypasts over Lake Burley Griffin from 11:25 am.

The public is encouraged to find a vantage point on Lake Burley Griffin.

Also keep a close eye on RiotACT for a full wrap-up of the event, with photos of the flypast.

From about 11:45 am to 12:00 pm, the Air Force Roulettes will perform a public display over the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin. Aircraft groups will track west to east along Lake Burley Griffin. You can find out more about the route and timing at Air Force 2021.

Flight path

A map of the flight path of aircraft over Canberra for the Air Force’s centenary. Image: Supplied.

The flypast will commemorate the more than 350,000 men and women who have served with the Air Force and the 11,191 RAAF members who died in service.

Region Media photographer and Air Force veteran Michelle Kroll said her 11 years’ full-time service in Defence shaped her life.

She served in Timor, the Middle East and several operations closer to home, mostly with 1 and 6 Squadron at Amberley, uploading and processing aerial film for F-111s. Both Michelle’s parents also served with the Air Force.

“I owe it to my brother who told me that I could get paid for taking photos if I join the Air Force,” she says. “My photography training was at RAAF Base East Sale and was nine months long but was recognised as a three-year degree.

“It was absolutely the best training I could have received. This instilled in me a habit to always produce the absolute best I could, something I share with many Defence veterans.”

A flag-raising ceremony featuring ADFA’s Air Force first, second and third-year training officers will be held at 7:00 am at Commonwealth Place near the international flags on Wednesday.

At 8:00 am, the Warrant Officer of the Air Force will raise the RAAF Ensign at Regatta Point at Blamey Square at Russell Offices. There will be six flags raised by six airmen/airwomen, representing the enlisted ranks of the Air Force.

These events are open to the public to attend from a distance at the perimeter of each location.

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That will be followed by a private Queen’s Colour presentation parade at Government House at Yarralumla, featuring the Governor-General, representing the Queen. The last time this occurred was 1986.

The official celebrations will conclude with the Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial at 4:45 pm, honouring the service and sacrifice of the men and women of the Royal Australian Air Force. The ceremony will also be broadcast online through the Australian War Memorial website.

The Air Force Band will also play a prominent role in marking the centenary, with performances at all of the events.

To begin proceedings, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from around Australia, in partnership with Air Force personnel, collected pieces of country, with the soil, sand and shells deposited in the Australian War Memorial’s For Our Country sculptural pavilion on Monday (March 29) to mark the start of centenary celebrations.

Air Force Indigenous liaison officer Flight Lieutenant David Williams said the respect for culture and country was strong.

“The recognition of the First Nations people and to the spirit of country means a lot to traditional custodians because of the strong connection to the land,” he said.

“The smoking ceremony and the gift of soil from country is a very meaningful way forward to embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and traditions.”

Michelle Kroll

LACW Michelle Kroll in 1993 doing air-to-air photography. Photo: Supplied.

Michelle Kroll will be among those watching.

“On reflection of the RAAF’s 100 -year anniversary, I wear my medals proudly, and I reflect on the friendships I have made. The photographer in me is excited to see the 60 ship flyover on Wednesday!”

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30 Responses to Canberra the centrepiece for mass flypast to mark the centenary of the RAAF
Shane Riordan Shane Riordan 12:07 pm 02 Apr 21

Still love the Orion's.

Trish Casey Trish Casey 11:54 am 02 Apr 21

Great time watching these

pdpd pdpd 8:07 pm 31 Mar 21

It’s was a good fly pass but would have been better if the planes flew lower and much faster. Maybe with afterburners in, and speakers all around the lake playing Kenny logins Danger Zone on loop. A straifing of the Carillian would have been nice, and a few low passes of those lucky buggers standing on top of the National Library roof would have delighted young and old.

Congrayts to the RAAF and the organisers.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 7:11 pm 31 Mar 21

In a world where many motorists have trouble staying in their lane, the skill, precision and courage of the Roulettes – flying only 3 metres apart at times(!!) – is truly amazing.

Neville Stuart Neville Stuart 5:58 pm 31 Mar 21

Honestly I cannot believe some of the negative comments on here

As they say you can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all the time

Steven Miller Steven Miller 4:43 pm 31 Mar 21

So excellent to celebrate 100 years of RAAF on a glorious Autumn day in Canberra!

Toby Toby 2:16 pm 31 Mar 21

The whole flypast was spectacular especially the display
I was awe inspired by the wonderful old planes and the skill with which they were flown

Aldo Milin Aldo Milin 11:53 am 31 Mar 21

Gotta say whoever organised this event has succeeded in making it one of the most boring flypasts i've ever seen..

    Pter Gill Pter Gill 1:11 pm 31 Mar 21

    Aldo Milin second that!

    Sheila Ann Waterman Sheila Ann Waterman 2:17 pm 31 Mar 21

    Aldo you must have been watching another display......where we're you ?

    Aldo Milin Aldo Milin 2:20 pm 31 Mar 21

    It appears that you're easily pleased😝

    David Mitchell David Mitchell 6:22 pm 31 Mar 21

    We'll see what type of event the ItAF put on in 2023!

    In the meantime can't wait until what the RAAF does at this years Avalon Airshow

    Leigh Franks Leigh Franks 7:30 pm 31 Mar 21

    Aldo Milin I thought it was great. I thought it was great because all these hard working professionals who have signed up to risk their lives protecting you (among others) did a great job today.

Gamer Gamer Gamer Gamer 11:40 am 31 Mar 21

Maybe in another hundred years the ADF/RAAF will start looking after their veterans. Gotta love the misdirection from the commission into veteran suicides. Is the “60 ship flyover” meant to represent each veteran that committed suicide last year while fighting their government for basic medical care?

We can spend billions on war memorials and flyovers but the Department of Veterans Affairs still employ top flight lawyers to deny basic medical access for injuries during service.

Supporting the ADF =/= supporting veterans.

Annette Brown Annette Brown 9:05 am 31 Mar 21

Ben Brown - think Trav is coming across for this ✈️

Irene Herrero Irene Herrero 5:42 am 31 Mar 21

Jeff Tanner this will be so cool !! Are you going to be able to see it ?

Wendy Lewis Wendy Lewis 1:04 am 31 Mar 21

Shame it couldn't have been delayed a couple of days, schoolies would have loved

to see it. Just sayin.....🤔

    Maureen Ryan Maureen Ryan 7:00 am 31 Mar 21

    Wendy Lewis they'll hear it

    Wendy Lewis Wendy Lewis 7:51 am 31 Mar 21

    Maureen Ryan that will scare the s... out of them, and boring......... 🤐

    Wendy Lewis Wendy Lewis 9:06 am 31 Mar 21

    Carole Peel I'm sure 48 hours delay wouldn't have hurt, not to mention the disruption today for workers..... makes sense !!!!

    Alene Yorke Alene Yorke 9:53 pm 01 Apr 21

    Carole Peel was surprised that schools didn't have an excursion to it, would have been wonderful for the kids to see and I'm sure they would never forget it.

Paula Brewer Paula Brewer 9:36 pm 30 Mar 21

Glenn Brewer you watch from lock down

Rhonda Maxwell Rhonda Maxwell 6:51 pm 30 Mar 21

Glenys Chapman, It's going to be noisy.

Alastair Reid Alastair Reid 4:09 pm 30 Mar 21

Just had a hudson, 2 spitfires and a mustang fly over preparing for tomorrow:)

Brooke Davis Brooke Davis 1:48 pm 30 Mar 21

Send off Mick Davis x

Kristine Evans Kristine Evans 1:19 pm 30 Mar 21

Jill Evans Darryl can watch this live on facebook!!

Matty Gruber Matty Gruber 10:04 am 30 Mar 21

Michael Toussis get the tissues ready!

    Michael Toussis Michael Toussis 10:22 am 30 Mar 21

    Matty Gruber we’re going up mt Ainslie with a roll of roar

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